If you’ve ever bought anything from anyone online, then you know it’s pretty normal to hop on to Google and do a quick search of the person or company you’re doing business with. It’s normal to be curious about a person, especially if money is going to change hands.
You’d probably click through all the web links that Google gives you, read all you can about the person or company so you can determine if it’s a good idea to do business with them. In the old days, you’d probably ask for a referral, call that person and ask them for their opinion or personal experiences with that particular person or business.
During the course of your research, you’ll form an opinion about the person. Are they trustworthy? Are they credible? What do other people say about them? Have they ever scammed anyone?
These questions are asked by people unfamiliar with you and your business. It’s nothing personal, of course, it’s just a normal way of doing business nowadays. In this guide,
I will explain the importance of branding – why you need to do it and how to build a brand that people will trust.
What Exactly Is Branding?
Some people may say your company name or your logo is your branding. This may be true for some, but in essence, it goes beyond that. Branding is the overall picture or reputation that people think of when they see your brand.
For instance, if you’re in the food business, a certain group of people may associate your brand with their childhood. For another group, they may associate your brand with their kids. There’s no single definition of what makes your brand your brand.
Branding is highly subjective and will vary from person to person. Some may love your brand, others may not, and so on. While you can’t control what other people think of you or your brand, you can certainly push them in the right direction to put your brand in a more positive light.
You can spend a lot of money on a branding campaign. You can buy plenty of ad space portraying your food business as the best source of healthy, nutritious food in your city.
If your campaign goes as planned, then people will remember your brand as a healthy and nutritious brand. But if your campaign goes south, for instance, a customer found something nasty on her food (like an insect), then people may start associating your brand with that nasty insect!
Why Is Branding So Important For Your Business?
Building a brand is non-negotiable. In this day and age where your competitors are not necessarily in the same location as you, you need to stand out from the crowd. Thanks to the Internet, today’s marketplace is a global one.
You have literally the whole world to sell your product to. And if you’re selling an evergreen product, building a brand right from the get-go is essential if you want your business to generate profits for you for many years.
If you don’t take branding seriously, then people are going to choose your competitors over you. The more transparent you are about your business, the more people will trust you. But if you hide behind a façade or even stock photography, then people are going to see right through you.
Of course, you don’t have to share everything about your life – you do still have a right to privacy, after all. But the point is that, if you’re offering a product or service, let your customers see that you are real.
They don’t have to know the minute details of your life, they just need to know they can trust you. Let them have a peek at your personal life if you want, but that’s totally up to you.
Your reputation will define you and your brand. If you’ve got a reputation for being professional because you take good care of your customers, then that helps your brand.
People will start associating your business with a being a consummate professional, and you’ll have referrals and repeat customers coming in.
However, if you made quite a number of people unhappy, they’re most probably going to leave bad reviews all over the web so when people search for you, they’ll see your brand or business is not so reliable, and they’ll be better off buying somewhere else.
You don’t want this to happen to you. If your brand has been ruined, you can either hire a professional to help clean up your image or start from scratch, if you can. However, do know that nothing ever gets deleted on the Internet so even if you create a new identity or a new brand, someone may still be able to unearth your flaws and past mistakes.
If you want to be in business for a long time, then make sure you build your brand the right way. You need to spend considerable time building your brand but, in the end, the effort will be worth it. Your reputation will precede you, and people will not hesitate to do business with you.